Showing posts from April, 2012

Some Answers, But More Questions

There is a notion, and one that I hold to be true more often than not, that says a serial killer or group of killers doesn't stop killing until they're caught or are dead.

There's no real incentive, when you think about it, for the sociopaths and otherwise mentally ill killers to stop without provocation to do so.

Why would they? They're crazy enough, in the first place, to commit such atrocities, and part of the thrill for them is the cat and mouse game played between police and killer(s).

The serial killer is usually very smart (though demented), organized and purposeful, albeit that purpose is often lost on the sane.

The serial killer doesn't just wake up one day and decide to stop killing. There may be gaps between murders, but they almost always continue until the perpetrator is no longer able to commit them.

So the assertion today on Detroit radio that those responsible for the Oakland County Child Killings are still alive, should be met with a bunch of raise…

Thanks (?) For the Memories

That Marilu Henner---she remembers everything.

No, really---she does.

The actress Henner, 60, is one of 12 people on this planet who has been diagnosed with hyperthymesia, which has nothing to do with temperature, though it sounds like it does.

It has to do with memory.

Henner can literally recall every day of her life after her baptism. Give her a date, any date, and she can tell you details, no matter how mundane.

A skeptic might say, "Well, how do we know that she's just not making the memories up?"

I think that's a fair question.

But only 11 others have this ability/condition/skill, so there must be some tests that are conducted to prove hyperthymesia exists.

Henner, without hesitation, recalls the day she found out she got the part of Elaine on TV's wildly successful "Taxi."

She tells, “It was June 4 of 1978. It was a Sunday and I found out at the ‘Grease’ premiere party. ‘Taxi’ is so vivid to my mind. The very first rehearsal was Ju…

From Bandstands to Pyramids

There was some cruel irony toward the end of Dick Clark's life.

Clark, the TV producer giant who passed away yesterday at age 82, seemed to be ageless for decades. Many a crack was made about Clark's youthful-looking face and how he looked no older in 1975 than he did in 1955.

It was true. Clark's full, bushy head of hair and twinkling eyes were TV staples almost from the moment he started a local show based in Philadelphia named "Bandstand," way back in 1952.

The name later was changed to "American Bandstand" as the show grew in popularity and went national.

Clark eventually branched out to game show producing, which made a mint for colleagues like Merv Griffin and Ralph Edwards. Clark made a mint, too, whether behind the scenes or in front of the camera, hosting shows like "The $10,000 Pyramid," which later upped its title ante to $25,000.

But "American Bandstand" was always his baby and the show Clark was most closely associated with u…

Phoney Baloney

I'm about ready to rip the phone out of the wall. All four of them.

You ever walk by those skeletons of days gone by---the pay phone? Or rather, where a pay phone used to be? The useless wires dangling from the back of the unit, the actual phone itself long gone?

That's what I'd like our bedrooms and kitchen and basement to look like---the remnants of where a land line phone used to be.

They say that the land line is about to go the way of the pay phone. That time can't come soon enough, frankly.

The only reason we have land line phone service, nearest I can tell, is to be harassed at all hours of the day and night. Because it certainly isn't to make phone calls, or to receive any meaningful ones.

My wife and I use our cell phones to place calls, even from the home. Same with our daughter. My wife's mother, who we live with, takes only a handful of calls a month---usually from doctor's offices, confirming appointments. And mom-in-law doesn't really place any…

A Heady Issue

I don't ride a motorcycle, but if I did, and decided that I wanted the "freedom" to go sans helmet, I think I'd be cursing that freedom as I was hurdling mid-air after being thrown from my bike.

But that's just me.

And that's the point, I suppose, of Governor Rick Snyder's signing off on a change in the state law that now makes the wearing of a motorcycle helmet optional.

Read: to each his (or her) own.

Personal freedom is a great thing, but you know how that goes: as long as it doesn't infringe on the freedoms of others.

That's why I applaud the removal of virtually all cigarette smoke in public places.

And that's why I'm, ultimately, OK with the new motorcycle helmet thing.

If some nut cares not to wear protective head gear that can save his life, then who am I to tell him he can't? More importantly, who is the state to tell him?

Because, you see, a biker going bare-headed doesn't impact me, really. I venture onto the roads in my car aim…

He Rarely Knocked

Television was a stay-at-home industry before Mike Wallace, Don Hewitt and the rest of the gang at "60 Minutes" began lugging cameras, microphones and lights on the road, storming the offices of the nefarious, the suspect, the infamous.

Before "60 Minutes," which debuted in 1968, TV news was strictly done from the confines of a studio. The Cronkites, Huntleys and Brinkleys were anchormen in the literal sense---they were anchored to their desks. For decades, no one knew what those newsmen looked like from the waist down.

Even Edward R. Murrow's groundbreaking "Person to Person" featured Murrow in the studio---chatting up a guest who was in his/her home. Murrow and his crew didn't come calling.

That all changed when Hewitt, "60 Minutes" executive producer, and Wallace---one of several on-air hosts/interrogators---came up with an idea for a "news magazine" show that would involve the cameras being mobile, the subjects being hunted do…

Amanda's New Show

The mug shot, in its current state, is as much a part of our culture as baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet.

That wasn't always the case.

The mug shot---and this isn't all that long ago---was once a found treasure, if one of a celebrity was ever unearthed. Mug shots released to the general public used to be photos of the common criminals, only released to assist in identifying possible perpetrators, or to find thugs on the lamb.

Now, the mug shot is an expected item whenever someone in the public eye is taken into custody---whether for rape, murder or a sit-in protest.

Thanks to the Internet, the mug shot travels around the globe within seconds, and back again. And again.

The celebrity mug shot is usually of the individual with a knowing twinkle in the eye, or a smirk or a look of sheepishness.

Another of those mug shots was released today. It's another of a young adult, a former child actress, booked on DUI charges.

Amanda Bynes is 26 years old now (her birthday was Tuesday). Seem…

How Far in 44?

We love anniversaries in this country, good, bad or those of infamy.

The dates dance around our minds: December 7; November 22; September 11; July 4.

Today is another one of those dates.

It was 44 years ago today when James Earl Ray took aim and cut down Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he stood on a motel balcony in Memphis, TN.

There's film footage of U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Robert Kennedy, addressing a crowd and breaking the news to them of Dr. King's assassination. There are audible gasps and cries of anguish heard.

Kennedy himself would be murdered about two months later.

I suppose the anniversary of Dr. King's murder is as good as time as any to ponder: have things gotten any better, really, in this country when it comes to race relations?

Is it mere irony or an indictment on us as a society that April 4 arrives as the nation is still loitering around the water cooler, talking about the February 26 killing of Trayvon Martin?

The Martin case would appear to be a…